Manawatu dairy farmers Wendy and Richard Ridd consider the environment extensively when making decisions on their farm that runs to 260 hectares, with a milking platform of 196 cows.
Up front, a tyre packer module breaks clods, while also firming and levelling the soil – enabling accurate depth control of the following cultivation unit. Two rows of independently-suspended discs follow directly behind to produce a fine and evenly cultivated soil profile over the full working width.
A second tyre packer roller consolidates the soil ahead of the seeding coulters, ensuring accurate depth and placement of the seed. The seeding unit comprises 32 narrow profile seeding coulters at 12.5cm spacing, with adjustable coulter pressure of up to 100kg.
A following press wheel creates soil-to-seed contact and provides uniform depth control, while the rear S-shaped seed harrows to provide the final covering of the seed. An optional set-up sees the machine equipped with 24 coulters at 16cm row spacing.
Offering working speeds of up to 15km/h, the 4m U-Drill features the ELDOS system, an electrically-driven metering device. This is all driven by Kverneland’s e-com software that is fully ISOBUS compatible and allows application rates from 1kg/ha to 950kg/ha – depending on forward speed.
Important settings, such as calibration and in-field adjustments can be controlled from the in-cab display. Seeding depth, coulter pressure and automatic headland management is also adjustable, on the go. The automatic section control ensures the metering device stops and starts automatically at the headland mark, ensuring no overlaps and reduced seed and fertiliser costs.
The U-drill is available as a standard drill or as a seed and fertiliser version – dubbed the U-Drill +. Both versions come with a hopper capacity of 3000 litres. In the case of the U-Drill +, the hopper is divided lengthways with a 40:60 ratio, each fitted with a dedicated metering system.
The U+ version also offers fertiliser placement between the rows or alongside the seed.